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Maternal and Cord Blood IgE of Atopic and Nonatopic Pregnant Women at Delivery.

1El-Asfahani AMA, 1Moustafa MM, 1Khalil KA, 2Abbas AA and 3El-Deeb AM.

Departments of 1Medical Biochemistry, 2Gynecology and Obstetric and 3Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Cairo and Assuit.

Serum IgE levels were estimated using Pharmacia enzyme immunoassay in 22 full term pregnant mothers, who had one or more atopic diseases (asthma, rhinitis and conjunctivitis), and their newborns. The maternal and cord blood samples were obtained immediately after delivery. Aspirated cord blood technique was used by fitting a 10 ml syringe in the umblical vein between two clamps. The maternal and cord blood IgE levels were compared to those of nonatopic pregnant mothers (n = 16) and their neonates. Significant increase in the geometric mean (GM) of IgE levels, in addition to a percent increase ranging from 25 to 75% was remarked in both maternal and cord blood values when atopic mothers were compared to nonatopic mothers. The distribution of maternal and cord blood IgE values in both atopic and nonatopic mothers was extremely wide. There were many maternal and cord blood IgE values below the detection limits in both groups of mothers. Furthermore some maternal and cord blood IgE values in atopic mothers were within the normal limits. The significant positive correlation between maternal and cord blood IgE in atopic couples would emphasize the marked maternal influence on cord blood IgE. This maternal effect seems not to originate from maternal contamination of cord blood because the aspirated cord blood technique is the best to avoid contamination. Furthermore this maternal influence is most likely an effect of transplacental sensitization by environmental allergens, maternal transfer and genetic factors.